What is Organic Farming?
Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that promotes health and productivity of the ecosystem – soil, plants, animals and people. Organic foods are farmed in harmony with nature in environmentally sustainable and socially responsible ways - focusing on soil regeneration, water conservation and animal welfare.
How is Organic Farming done?
Organic farming employs a set of methods for Soil, Pest and Weed Management. In summary, this includes crop rotations, crop diversification, composts, green manures, cover crops, cropping patterns, residue recycling, preventative pest managment and use of beneficial organisms. The organic standards generally prohibit genetically modified organisms, synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, fumigants, sewage sludge, synthetic drugs, synthetic food processing aids & ingredients and ionizing radiation. Additionally natural yet harmful substances are not permitted. Read how we do organic farming at NaturePinks.
What is Organic Certification and is NaturePinks Organic Certified?
Organic agricultural methods are regulated based on standards, guidelines and permitted substances. There are a number of certification agencies and systems that inspect farms and certify them 'organic' when found compliant. A number of different standards exist, based on the certifying authority.
NaturePinks has always been 100% free of synthetic pesticide use in cultivation - the largest source of residues in crop produce. We follow organic cultivation methods and are currently under the stipulated organic conversion period to get formal organic certification. However, to us the primary focus remains on producing right and consistently so, regardless of formal certification.
At NaturePinks, we are farmers first. We take the clean approach of clearly defining our farm philosophy and methods beyond definitions, standards and inspections. We lay down the methods of our farm production and let you have complete transparency and trust into how what we place on your table has been grown. Our philosophy is based on professional education, knowledge, ongoing experimentation and some commonsense in determining what is safe and healthy, more than anything else.
Why Organic Farming?
For health and environmental sustainability.
Organic farming produces food that is free of chemical residues and hence is safer and healthier to consume.
Organic farming is environmetally sustainable since it reduces chemical runoff into the environment & water bodies and does not impact the natural ecological balance.
Is Organic Farming easy?
How often did you succeed in growing food plants at home free of pests and that yielded good?
Organic farming is not easy, is very knowledge intensive and presents many challenges with some crops being more difficult than others to grow organically. More than anything, farming organically requires huge patience, a passion to succeed and the ability to occasionally smile and move on looking at a crop that is being devastated by pests.
Organic farming methods require an understanding of scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology as well as traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes. If organic farming is simply a system of not using farm inputs, most farming would have been organic by now anyway.
Organic farming is also typically more expensive owing to the higher level of manual labour involved and the periodic crop losses when pest management gets less effective.
What are the benefits of eating organic?
A significant number of current human ailments and diseases are attributed to pesticide residues in the food we eat. Studies show the food we eat contains an alarmingly high amount of residues. Unfortunately there is limited awareness of the hazards of pesticides among the farmers and the consumers. Very few farmers understand the lethal dose indicators on pesticide labels or the pesticide waiting periods before harvest - more so in India - and there is no dedicated effort to disseminate this information. It is a dangerous state of affairs that while no harvest of produce should be done for a number of days after spraying some pesticides, there are farmers who being unaware, dip harvested produce in such chemicals to eliminate pests lingering on the surface of the harvested produce. A number of pesticides are systemic, meaning they enter into the plant parts than stay on the surface - meaning they are not removed by any amount of washing.
We can't always eat organic food anyway, so does it really matter?
It is best to eat as much good food as available. Also, chemicals in food are known to accumulate in the body - so increasing the proportion of chemical free food as much as possible is certainly quite beneficial.
Is buying organic food worth the cost?
Yes, as long as you can vouch for what you are buying. A few questions to ask are the source of the food and who exactly produced the food. If the food comes from a trusted farm and the farmer has the knowledge and background on sustainable farming practices, preferably educated in agricultural sciences, buying organic is certainly worth the price.
We do not think twice to buy an icecream that costs 20 times more so it comes from a reliable brand, but are overly bothered to spend just a couple of hundred rupees more per month on safe fruits and vegetables which actually are a large part of our regular diet - it is just about looking at the benefits with the right perspective and costs appear very small.
At NaturePinks, we price organic fruits and vegetables just about the same as normal produce, so that is all the more reason to go organic.
How can we verify if any produce is organic?
Residue analysis tests can determine the quantities of chemical residues in food. However such labs are few and analysis tests are expensive to conduct. The best way to trust the quality of the produce is by knowing the producer - if your food is coming from an educated, professional farmer with a demonstrated background of farming - the food is certainly more trustworthy. Organic Certification is another indicator that adds to the reliability.
How is your produce organic if it is not purely cow based?
We integrate cow based farming into our organic farming mix. However, purely cow based organic farming is just one of the organic farming methods and there a number of other methods we apply as you can read on our management/methods pages.
Why is your focus on fruits and vegetables?
At NaturePinks, we believe fruits & vegetables are the most important part of our foods that need to be clear of synthetic chemicals. Fruits and vegetables are directly exposed to spray applications and absorb them into their tissues or adsorb them on their surface. They are eaten fresh meaning the chemicals have less time to disintegrate; do not undergo processing such as drying, dehusking or milling that grains at least undergo. However growing fruits and vegetables organically is that much more involved.
Your products don't look tiny, crinkled and malformed - aren't organic products supposed to look bad?
No, organic does not mean starving the plant or producing malformed produce. With the right knowledge and production technique, organic fruits and vegetables form well and look good too. That said, a dot, spot or a worm is not unusual.
Do you guarantee your products are tastier or look better?
No, we only guarantee the our products are grown using organic methods as detailed on these pages. However, we hear often from our customers that our produce tastes better, keeps better and has better table quality.
We buy from a local organic seller, how are you different?
If you have bought organic produce from other sellers in Hyderabad, chances are that you may have tasted our products at some point - we supply some of our produce to a number of organic retailers time to time. However through NaturePinks, you have the extra assurance of picking up just our produce direct from ourselves at a good price.
How can you sell so cheap if you grow using organic methods?
Organic production is often costlier as explained elsewhere on the site. However since we are the farmer and the seller, we do not incur the channel costs that most other retailers do, and try to pass on the cost benefit to you.
Wherefrom can inorganicness creep into your products?
While we take utmost care and follow the practices we have explained on the site pages, small amounts of inorganicness could get introduced from purchased seeds that are chemically treated by the seller companies and from the drift of air that might carry chemicals from a far off farm. However, these are minuscule and negligible in the context of the overall production.
What if I find a worm in a fruit or vegetable?
We will gladly replace your product the next time around. It is much safer to find a worm and reject the fruit or vegetable than douse it in deadly chemicals. Insects and worms are not as bad as we are conditioned to believe they are.
To know where and how to procure our organic produce, visit the contact page.